American Old Time Song Lyrics: 38 A Pack Of Cards

Theater, Music-Hall, Nostalgic, Irish & Historic Old Songs, Volume 38

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Copyright, 1892, by Frank Harding.
Written, Composed and Sung by Henry Reilly.

One night as I sat by my fireside, so weary.
And dreaming of friends who were far, far away.
Though memory brought me some thoughts sad and dreary.
Yet others came, too, that were cheerful and gay.
When, all of a sudden, I found my eye resting
On something that brought many scenes to my mind;
'Twas an old pack of cards, and some tales interesting
I thought that I might In their history find.
The first scene that I saw that night I thought was quite a pleasant sight,
A grand old room ablaze with light, I whispered, "kind regards,"
Whilst 'round the board sat young and old, they played for love and not for gold,
Whilst joy and sorrow all untold was in that pack of cards.

The next scene I saw filled my heart with great pity;
It was a young man, and his parents I knew;
'Twas their only son whom they'd sent to the city
To study and grow up a gentleman true.
His weekly allowance they thought would suffice him
To live on the best and for study to pay:
They knew not that evil companions enticed him
Away from his studies at poker to play.
I saw him as he left his seat, he never thought his pals would cheat;
Each time he played he met defeat, and still he called them pards;
But there will come a reckoning day, and be will through this foolish play
Bring sorrow in the old folks' way, all through that pack of cards.

The last scene of all I beheld with much sorrow,
For there was the scene of the gambler's black fate;
No thought had they got of the waking to-morrow,
Though then they'd repent but to find it too late.
The bright gold was stacked by the side of each player.
The miser's black creed was in ev'ry man's heart,
As quickly the bets passed twist backer and layer,
And ruin was king in the devil's slave mart.
"I'll stake a hundred on this game." "I'll go you, sir." "I'll do the same."
Who cares for misery and shame, as each his treasure guards;
"You lie I saw you turn that ace"-a smashing blow right in the face-
A pistol shot, and death's disgrace was in that pack of cards.
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